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The University of Alabama

UA Journalism Professor, Pulitzer Prize Winner Rick Bragg Wins 2012 Last Lecture Award

Rick Bragg

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Graduate School has announced journalism professor Rick Bragg is the recipient of the 2012 Last Lecture Award.

Bragg will give his lecture, titled “So People Won’t Forget,” Monday, April 23, at 6 p.m. in 118 Graves Hall.

“The talk will be about the power and importance of storytelling, not just as a way to entertain people and make a living, but as a way to effect change in the world,” Bragg said. “In the age of texting and tweeting, a good story still has the power to melt the ice around people’s hearts.”

Bragg said the title of the lecture came from an encounter years ago with a woman he interviewed in New Orleans. “A stray bullet had killed her little boy,” he said. “As I apologized for having to talk to her about something so awful, she was so kind. She said, ‘I don’t mind. People forget.’ That’s exactly how she said it: ‘People forget if it ain’t written down.’ That has stayed with me for years and years.”

Dr. Natalie Adams, assistant dean of the UA Graduate School, said Bragg was chosen from more than 250 applicants.

“The Last Lecture is the only lecture on UA’s campus whose speaker is solely determined by students,” Adams said. “The students on the Selection Committee ultimately chose Rick because they felt his message is one that would appeal to a broad range of students across disciplines.”

Bragg said he was proud to have been selected for the student-driven award. “I’m honored,” he said. “All of us storytellers want to believe that we have something to say, and I hope I can come up with something that will benefit the students in attendance.”

Bragg is a professor of writing for the journalism department in the College of Communication and Information Sciences. He is the author of several books, including “The Prince of Frogtown,” “Ava’s Man” and “All Over but the Shoutin’.” He received the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing.

The lecture and reception will be open to the public.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.